Moraine Township

Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, February 26, 2009 7:30 PM
Moraine Township Office

February 26, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:33 PM, and upon roll call the following members were present: Supervisor Mari Barnes; Trustees Bryna Gamson, Cynthia Plouché and Jeff Zaluda. Also Present: Assessor Peter Koukos, Pam Feinberg, Herb Wander, Janet Freed and Jackie Schechter. Clerk Ellen Gussin and Trustee Margoth Moreno were absent.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of February 12, 2009 stand approved as written and distributed.

Approval of Bills
Trustee Zaluda moved, seconded by Trustee Plouché, approval of the bills. Upon roll call, motion carried.

Public Comment

Agency Presentation
Tri-Con Early Childhood Center – Pam Feinberg, Executive Director, addressed the Board. Tri-Con has operated for 38 years and serves 60 children of which 35 are on the premises during the year and 45 attend in the summer. Population is 85-95% Latino. 80% are local residents and 20% are children of people who work in the community. 100% are subsidized through government or other grants. The cost of day care is $40 per child per day, but the government subsidy is only $28 per day. Fewer children are meeting the government standards for subsidy. An additional challenge is the extremely slow payment rate from the State. Economic stress on the parents is impacting these children, and a long waiting list cannot be served due to space and funding limitations

Community Family Center (CFC) – Herb Wander, President, addressed the Board concerning the need for the CFC which will house agencies providing primarily early childhood education and counseling services. There is a lack of money to fulfill the mission of each agency and inadequate space at each agency’s current facility. The goal is to combine all five entities into one modern facility, providing needed space and synergies in operation. City of Highland Park has granted a $10 per year lease for CFC for 40 years. The CFC Board needs to raise the funds necessary for renovation of the Karger Center building which is estimated to cost $13 million. An abundance of families with two-working parents require toddler care but none is available and very little other day-care relative to the need. CFC expects to serve 500 children in total as well as offer toddler classes. Fundraising will also cover operating expenses beyond the building renovation. Herb is optimistic about reaching the goal due to the significant community support, but six-figure contributions will be required from individuals, foundations and government bodies. CFC requests moral and financial support from the Township for everyday as well as long-term expenses. Herb asked that the Township consider giving $25,000 now to get the planning needs taken care of. CFC needs to show the City that they can secure the necessary resources by 11/30/09.

Budget Discussion
Budget will be approved and voted on at the March 26 meeting after a 30-day posting. Most expenses in Town Fund refer to General Assistance, providing greater flexibility and oversight. $25,000 grant to CFC will be considered by the Board for the next two weeks and decided upon at the next meeting.

Assessor’s Report
The move to the new quarters next door is complete and has proceeded very well. Costs were lower than expected probably due to the economic downturn. The staff has been wonderful with special thanks to Mark McCraren. The Board of Review still has not rendered its decisions on a large number of the appeals.

Supervisor’s Report
The President’s Stimulus Package will help secure social service funds for programs like Food Stamps and TANF. There has been an influx of people seeking Township services.

Committee Reports
Food Pantry – Could use some volunteers for the stocking of shelves. Still working on the 501(c)(3) so we can buy from the Food Bank.

Latino Advisory Committee – There will be a meeting on March 7 at the Township office, and committee will meet monthly. Housing issues are a priority, particularly available rentals. There is a City of Highland Park outreach program scheduled for April 19 at Oak Terrace School geared toward Latinos in the community to provide an overview of available community resources and services.

Grant Advisory Committee – Will meet on March 2. Grant requests have been received from 26 agencies for a total of $157,000. The budget allows for $120,000 to be awarded. A new chair of the committee will be named, and there are new people on the committee.

Transportation – The vans are on the road and busy all day. PACE is paying for repairs. The HealthCare Foundation of Highland Park has given the Township $35,000 for operation of the vans.

NewsletterTalk of the Township has received an enthusiastic reception from many community members.

Old Business

New Business
Jewel Food Stores has given the Township $1,000 in observance of their Grand Re-Opening.

With no further business to conduct, Trustee Plouché moved, seconded by Trustee Gamson, the meeting be adjourned at 8:50 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen S. Gussin, Moraine Township Clerk
with appreciation for Trustee Zaluda standing in as Clerk for this meeting.


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